Thorpe Park is a theme park in Surrey with roller coasters and other rides, and we had a great day there on Sunday. As I mentioned in a recent post, having looked at the shouty Thorpe Park website I was a little apprehensive about how our family trip there would pan out. However the kids, 14 and 10, were keen to go.
As we drove to Thorpe Park the youngest read out a list of the rides on offer. When he mentioned SAW – The Ride, the eldest became very protective and said she wouldn’t let him go on any scary rides, however good they looked. Their Dad countered that he’d rather be scared than wet – the youngest agreed. The eldest replied that she’d rather get wet than scared – I agreed. So we worked out a neat, male/ female ride preference before any of us had even set foot in the park.
The rides are categorised as either EXTREME THRILLS, marked in red on the maps, or the gentler THRILLING & FUN, marked in orange. We started off a little nervously with an ‘orange’ water ride called STORM SURGE where we sat together in a giant, round, dinghy and went up and down and splashed into a pool of water. We got a little wet but all really enjoyed it and came out feeling ready for a more challenging ride.
Next we headed over to TIDAL WAVE, a ‘red’ water ride where we were secured into big seats on a giant boat which went up quite high and then sped down into a big pool of water.
We got much wetter, but still enjoyed the ride. This gave us the confidence to tackle one of the big roller coasters: NEMESIS, where we were secured into more big seats, legs dangling, and hurled upside down and round and round so fast that it felt like the skin on my face was being pulled back behind my ears. The others loved it, but it confirmed that I really do prefer THRILLING & FUN to EXTREME THRILLS. (I should have remembered how the ride is described on the website: ‘We’ve flipped the rollercoaster on its head with its mad inverted Hell ride into the fiery pit of a volcano!’ But why would you do that?)
Anyway, I soon recovered and we carried on around the park trying out any rides we fancied and having a lovely time. Sometimes we went on rides together and sometimes we didn’t – there was no pressure for anyone to go on a ride they didn’t want to. My husband was the only one brave enough to try SWARM: HAVE YOU GOT THE GUTS TO TRY IT BACKWARDS? (No). The youngest and I went on DEPTH CHARGE a couple of times and both loved the sensation of speeding in a rubber dinghy from a great height down a long water slide. All in all, the four of us had a great family day together and I’d definitely recommend it as a fun day out.
Some tips to make the most of a family trip to Thorpe Park:
- Arrive at the park when it opens at 10am, before the queues build up.
- Take waterproofs with you for the water rides or buy a poncho for £5. You’ll probably still get wet anyway, so take a change of clothes.
- Your feet and shoes will get soaked on the water rides (especially on LOGGERS LEAP), so flip-flops could be the best option.
- When you’re upside down on a speeding roller coaster, things will fall from you (sunglasses, coins etc) so only take what you really need. You can leave stuff in lockers around the park for a non-refundable £1 a time, or you can leave bags at the top of some rides at your own risk.
- If you like fizzy drinks, you can buy drinks bottles which you can refill as many times as you like that day for £6 each.
Family travel lowdown: If you’re planning a trip to Thorpe Park, there are some ways to save money on your tickets. You can save 30% if you book seven days or more before you go, which means adult tickets cost from £30.24, under-12s from £23.52. If you’re travelling by train you can get online discounts with South West Trains. You can also buy a bottle of Frijj or go to this page for 2-for-1 entry. Our tickets were provided free of charge for review purposes.